Ghostwriting and a competition

Revision update: I didn’t work on my revision at all over the weekend, and coming back today, with just two days away from the story, I felt out of it. I must make time on the weekends from now on. I did get some good stuff done this morning, however, and I’m looking to tomorrow’s session. Still hoping to be done by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.

If you haven’t read a mention of this yet, I’m interviewing Laura Cross on Feb. 12 about ghostwriting. Laura, the author of Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent: Everything You Need to Know to Become Successfully Published, has credits in magazine writing, script reading and non-fiction books, but you won’t find her name on any of the books because they were ghostwritten.

Ghostwriting might not lead to fame, as the work will be published under another name, but it can be rewarding in the financial sense, and it can be an opportunity for writers to do what they do best — write. Ghostwriting is common practice for both fiction and non-fiction books, and publishers always need writers to be the silent partner.

But how do writers find these jobs? And how does ghostwriting work? Does the publisher give the writer the story then leave them alone? Or is it more of a collabortive effort?

Laura will pull back the curtain on ghostwriting on Feb. 12, and you can ask the questions. Leave a question in the comments section of this post before Feb. 1, and whoever asks Laura’s favorite question will win a PDF copy of her Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent book — useful to us all.

So, put your thinking cap on and get your fingers tapping. Let’s give Laura some great questions to dig deep into the writing revenue stream that is ghostwriting. Then check back on Feb. 12 for the interview. It’s going to be fun.

Write On!

11 Responses

  1. How does a writer get a ghostwriting gig if he or she doesn’t have a published book yet? Are other writing credits enough to land a job?

  2. Great questions, Suzanne. Thanks

  3. anitanolan says:

    I’d like to know how to actually get a ghostwriting or work for hire job. I’ve actually done some work for hire, written for a magazine, edited a couple magazines, etc, but I don’t seem to be able to break through. (The WFH work I’ve done has come to me through friends of friends.) I apply for jobs, hear back that they’ll keep my info on file, but never hear anything more.

    What is the correct way to approach ghostwriting/WFH publishers, what are the best ways/places to find out about this type of work?
    thanks. Looking forward to the interview.

  4. Great question, Anita.


  5. Donna Maloy says:

    I am assuming that most ghostwriters are paid a flat fee and therefore don’t have a claim on future royalties. But do ghostwriting contracts reserve any future rights at all — say after the acknowledged author passes away?

  6. Great question, Donna. Thanks. Check back on Feb. 12 for the answer.

  7. Marion Steiger says:

    My question is: How should I go about getting a good ghostwriter to help me finish a nonfiction book based on my daughter’s diaries when she was 14 and had cancer? I’m adding sections throughout the diary on thoughts from our family members and our experiences so it will be a book for young adults and for adults also.

  8. Sounds like a great book, Marion. Great question too. Thanks

  9. Margo Dill says:

    This is a question that came from our WOW! fan page:

    How do I try to get credit for ghostwriting and freelance copy and research on a resume?
    I was recently rejected because some of my freelance could not be verified.
    Also, I have attached copies of ghostwriting with applications and a few times was questioned… with authorship. Is this something people try to pull?

  10. Great question. That must be so frustrating. Thanks for posting, Margo. Please send me the author of the question for Laura’s book contest.

  11. liz maxwell says:

    How do you say a polite ‘no’ when someone asks you to ghostwrite for them?

What do you think?